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Graduate Admissions

Admission requirements for graduate programs in computer science and engineering

Students with a minimum 3.0 junior/senior grade point average and appropriate course backgrounds will be considered for admission.  All applicants should hold a baccalaureate degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely aligned field.  Students who do not hold an undergraduate degree in computer science and engineering are expected to make up their deficiencies within the first year of study.  Deadlines for applying are as follows:  Spring 2015 - August 31, 2014 / Fall 2015 - December 15, 2014.  All applicants are automatically considered for financial aid.

Admission to the CSE Department is extremely competitive.  Each year we receive 800+ applications.  We only admit about 50 students in the fall semester, and an overwhelming majority of funded applicants are Ph.D. students.  To increase your chances of admission to our program, you are strongly encouraged to discuss your research interests with one or more faculty from our department prior to your application.  Also, your research interests and goals should clearly be expressed in your statement of purpose.

Please refer to the Graduate Handbook for detailed information.

Admission Requirements:

1. Completed Graduate School Application. Electronic submission can be accessed after reading all the information as instructed, and then clicking on the Graduate School button at the bottom of the page.

2. Applicants for fall admission should have completed applications on file by December 15, for spring admission by August 31.

3. Nonrefundable application fee (see Graduate School website).

4. All applicants should hold a baccalaureate degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely aligned field. Applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Aptitude Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical). For score reporting our institution code is 2660.

5. English Proficiency--The language of instruction at Penn State is English. International applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions noted below. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the internet-based test. The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 6.5.

International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a masters degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States and Wales.

Information about the TOEFL can be obtained by writing to the Educational Testing Service, Box 6155, Princeton, NJ 08541-6155 or visiting their web site at www.toefl.org. Local administration at University Park campus of the TOEFL is handled by the IECP. Information about the IELTS can be obtained by contacting IELTS International, 100 East Corson Street, Suite 200, Pasadena, CA 91103 or visiting its Web site at www.ielts.org.

6. Those students seeking an assistantship in Computer Science and Engineering ARE REQUIRED to submit an American English Oral Communicative Proficiency Test (AEOCPT) or the TOEFL iBT. A score of 26 on the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT is equivalent to passing the AEOCPT. A lower score would require remedial English as a Second Language courses. For score reporting for TOEFL and AEOCPT, our institution code is 2660.

7. Two official transcripts from each institution attended. (Transcript Request Form) (Sent via postal mail)*

8. Statement of purpose and goals/autobiography. A resume is also recommended. (UPLOAD TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL ELECTRONIC APPLICATION)

9. Three letters of recommendation. (UPLOAD TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL ELECTRONIC APPLICATION). 

IF YOU ARE READY TO PROCEED TO THE APPLICATION BUT HAVE NOT READ THE REQUIREMENTS, PLEASE VISIT THE GRADUATE SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS ONLINE.

IF YOU HAVE READ THE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, THEN YOU MAY FORMALLY APPLY TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL.

*Please mail official transcripts to:

The Graduate Staff Assistant
Computer Science and Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
342 Information Sciences and Technology Building
University Park, PA 16802

More detailed information on "How to Apply" is available online.

Degrees offered in our department:

- Doctoral Degree

- Master of Science Degree

- Master of Engineering Degree

The "Academic Calendar" is available online.

If you have any questions, please email the Graduate Staff Assistant, gradcontact@cse.psu.edu.  Thank you for your interest in our department.

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